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Primary education


Primary or elementary education is the first years of formal, structured education that occurs during childhood. In most Western countries, it is compulsory forchildren to receive primary education (though in many jurisdictions it is permissible for parents to provide it).

Primary education generally begins when children are four to seven years of age. The division between primary and secondary education is somewhat arbitrary, but it generally occurs atabout twelve years of age ( adolescence ); some educational systems haveseparate middle schools for that period. Primary and secondary educationtogether are sometimes (in particular, in Canada and the United States ) referred to as "K-12" education, (K is for kindergarten , 12 is for twelfth grade).

Typically, primary education is provided in schools , where (in the absence ofparental movement or other intervening factors) the child will stay, in steadily advancing classes, until they complete it andmove on to secondary schooling. Children are usually placed in classes with one teacher who will be primarily responsible fortheir education and welfare for that year. This teacher may be assisted to varying degrees by specialist teachers in certainsubject areas, often music or physical education . The continuity with a single teacher and the opportunity to build up a closerelationship with the class is a notable feature of the primary education system. Over the past few decades, schools have beentesting various arrangements which break from the one-teacher, one-class mold.

The major goals of primary education are achieving basic literacy and numeracy amongst all their students, as well as establishing foundations in science , geography , history and other social sciences . The relativepriority of various areas, and the methods used to teach them, are an area of considerable political debate.

Traditionally, various forms of corporal punishment havebeen an integral part of early education. Recently this practice has come under attack, and in some cases been outlawed, in Western countries at least.

Elementary school

The elementary school consists of the first seven years of school, that is, grades 1through 5 or 6, as well as kindergarten , a preliminary year of schoolbefore grade 1 (known in England and Wales as' Reception '). Originally, however, it was studied after primary school in the 19th century . (Some schools that have only the youngest students are calledprimary schools to this day.) Also known as grammar school in the United States it is a major segment of compulsory education. Until the latter third of the 20th century , however, grammar school (or elementary school) was grades 1 through8. After grammar school, one usually attends high school . (In many districts,grades 5-8 or 5-9 were called " middle school ", or further separated into" intermediateschool ", "middle school", and/or " junior high school ".)

See also


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